Former Daily Herald building in Arlington Heights to become medical offices

The former five-story Daily Herald office center in Arlington Heights - vacant since it was sold to a developer three years ago - is being converted into a medical office building.

That's what two giant temporary leasing signs at the top of the building along the Jane Addams Tollway will say.

The banners - one of them 420 square feet and the other 840 square feet - had to get approval from the village board this week because the local sign code allows only individual signs as large as 32 square feet or any combination of signs up to 64 square feet.

Developer Bradford Allen, which purchased the building at 155 E. Algonquin Road from Daily Herald owner Paddock Publications Inc. in March 2019, asked the village for relief from the sign code because the building is visible only from the tollway and its grade is lower than the toll road.

"With this being on the expressway, it's very difficult to stay within your limitations with a banner," Lisa Staszek, of Parvin-Clauss Sign Co., told the village board Monday night. The Carol Stream-based sign company is representing Chicago-based Bradford Allen.

Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development, said his department typically wouldn't support such a large variation request for signage. But he acknowledged the building doesn't have frontage along Algonquin or Arlington Heights roads, and drivers who do see the building from the tollway are traveling at speeds above 60 mph.

The sign approvals - for one banner that will say "BA Bradford Allen" and the other that will say " NOW LEASING" - came with the requirement that the banners come down in two years or when half the property is leased, whichever comes first.

Perkins said the signs would help give the developer a "jump-start" on leasing.

A report from Perkins' staff also said leasing of the vacant building can contribute to the village's goal of revitalizing the area as part of the South Arlington Heights Road Corridor Plan, which was adopted by the board in 2018 to promote new development in the area. The 50-page plan suggests liberalizing zoning restrictions to facilitate mixed-use developments in the area, making the area more pedestrian-friendly and improving aesthetics.

Paddock moved two blocks west to 95 W. Algonquin Road, where it occupies space in a six-story brown brick building. Before the company's move to 155 E. Algonquin in 1996, the newsroom, press and circulation departments had been located on Campbell Street in the village's downtown for most of the 20th century.

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